“Apology” Chapter 10C in the Panooksa Saga

Idea by Tom Austin                                               Written by Tom Austin

                                         Revised by Tom Austin


The two men sat in chairs looking at the red folder on the coffee table. They both felt embarrassed and tired. Tyler spoke first.

“In the vernacular of my generation I think we are well and truly screwed.” Brad felt free to speak up as well.

“That’s the way my generation would sum things up as well,” said Brad.

Tyler got up started talking, gesticulating all the time.

“If only my daughter “The Diplomat” hadn’t lost her temper we might have stood a chance. But after that revolting display, I don’t think we’d stand a snowball’s chance in hell of salvaging any kind of deal.”

“I’ve never encountered such hate before. Sirena has nothing but blind, furious hatred. Can one person really hate so many people without knowing them at all?

“That, my boy, is the sixty-four million dollar question. I fear Sirena hates because she simply can’t do anything else. She figures life gave her a raw deal, and now doesn’t want anything to do with people.”


Meanwhile, Tilly stood outside the shower. Milly was still sitting on the tiled floor of the shower, the icy cold water was still pummeling her clothes, and she was still sobbing. All of a sudden Milly heard the knob to the cold water being turned and looked upwards. Tilly held a blanket in her arms. Her mother looked down at her. “Mildred Shine. I have never been so ashamed of you than I am this very instant. I never thought I’d say this but right now I’m actually embarrassed to call you my daughter. I demand you to go to that Sirena woman and apologize. Now get out the shower, take off those wet clothes, wrap yourself in this blanket, and hand the clothes to me. I’ll pop them in the dryer. Then when they’re dry you’re going to put them back on, and you are going over to that horrible woman’s house and apologize. Don’t even think of talking to me. Just strip!”.

When her clothes were dry she put back on and left by the back door. She couldn’t face her father or Brad. She was going to do exactly what her mother said. When she was sitting on the floor in the shower she heard her father say ‘I think we are well and truly screwed’ and she heard the disappointment in his voice. Then she went and messed things up. And she wondered if Brad was still in love with her after that child-like display. As she walked towards a small clearing Milly looked at the door at the rear of the house. Her mother was at the door, and she pointed right at Milly.

Milly turned away from the house, took a cleansing breath, cleared her mind, and thought about Sirena Telford. Soon all color faded along with the image of her mother at the door. It was soon replaced by the twisted contorted face of Sirena Telford.  When she fully formed she was bombarded with insults and shrieks immediately.

“So the brat has come back. Where’s that man of yours? Well, speak up you spineless little twit!”

This time she knew Sirena was trying to push her buttons, and she was determined not to let Sirena get to her. She spoke very calmly.

“I would simply like to apologize for my behavior of earlier today. I also want to say that if I upset you in any way it truly was not intended.”

“So the brat has come to apologize. How touching. Well, you aren’t forgiven you little bitch! You couldn’t upset me if your life depended on it you useless bag of excrement!”

Milly wanted to say something to her. But she didn’t know if she should call her Miss or Mrs. She didn’t think any man in his right mind would want her for a spouse so she settled on Miss.

“May I tell you something, Miss Telford?”

“What could you possibly say to me that would be of the slightest interest to me?”

“I saw a film you did a few years back and I liked your performance. It was much better than that other actress.”

“I was?”

“You were much better than Gene Tierney too.”

Milly was now lying through her teeth. But it worked. There was a small but noticeable dent in super bitches armor. Milly had discovered Sirena’s Kryptonite. Vanity! She was as vain as the sun is bright.

“Your house looks just like one at Gull cottage. It’s no wonder you were so upset when my family and my fiancée showed up in it unannounced. If I promised to keep the house the way it looks now would you consider selling it?”

“What does the brat want my house for?”

“To live in with my fiancée, my soon to be husband”

Sirena weighed the pros and cons. It was true no one else was interested in the house. And if she sold it the new hunk would be close by. Besides, she needed the money.

“Do you plan on having any ankle biters? I just had the place painted.”

“Well, Brad and I have talked about having children but not for a few years”.

“If you’re going to live in The Second Realm don’t trust Messenger whatever you do. Let’s do the deal.”

“My dad will want to know the details. So we’ll have to go there.”

“If the brat wants my house we’ll finalize the details here.” Milly thought that the arms talks between the two major super powers in her own dimension must have been like this.

“Ok. But I was wondering if you could call me Milly. After all, I call you by your first name.”

Milly said she had to talk with father, and her betrothed. She vanished from Sirena’s house and appeared in the middle of her parents living room.

“I can’t be very long but super bitch is still willing to sell us the house. But you have to come to her house or she won’t do the deal.”

She also revealed Sirena’s weakness.

“She’s as vain as hell. Lie like a rug and blow smoke up her butt.’

Tyler, Tilly, and Brad appeared within minutes in Sirena’s living room. Sirena was pacing the floor and holding a long cigarette holder. Milly couldn’t help but think Sirena resembled Cruella De Vil from a film she once saw.

“Let’s get this over with. I’ll sell you the house as long you guarantee this won’t be any exterior alterations, and the only thing that will be done on the exterior are repairs.”

This condition was almost a deal breaker for Tyler. He looked at Brad and Milly.

“Can you two live with this because ultimately it will be up to the both of you?”

Brad was the first to speak up.

“Happy wife happy life.” Milly nodded vigorously and almost hugged Brad into unconsciousness.

Signatures and checks were passed at a furious rate.

“Fine. I believe that concludes things. Milly can stay but as for the rest of you nitwits GET THE HELL OUT!”

Sirena wanted to hear more from Milly. “How did I look in that film you saw?” Milly pretended to cough, turned around, pretended to stick a finger down her throat, then turned around. “You were magnificent. Even gorgeous”


After Milly and Sirena stopped talking Milly teleported back to her parent’s house. Brad, Tyler, and Tilly were waiting anxiously for her return. They wanted to know how Milly had changed Sirena’s mind. When she materialized in the living room Brad lunged at her, picked her up, and hugged her.

“How did you do it? How did you get Battle-Axe Galactica to sell us the house?” asked Brad. When he put her down Milly moved towards the couch. She sat down then sat beside Brad, her arm hooked in his.

“It was really very simple. In all the time she’s been here she hasn’t heard one single solitary compliment from anybody.”

Her father coughed and spoke up. “You seem to forget she’s the most unfriendly person on the face of the earth. She’s done nothing, zilch, to deserve a compliment of any kind. She once asked me to look at her feet to see if anything could be done. When I told her I couldn’t do anything for her feet she simply insulted me and walk out of the examining room. She hasn’t even bothered to pay her bill.”

Milly tried to explain a few things to her father.

“She feels hostility for you because you couldn’t do anything for her. But have you once complimented her on anything? A woman likes to be noticed, even complimented. Have you ever done that?”

“I think your daughters on to something,” said Tilly

“You’ve got be kidding. The woman’s about friendly as the Bubonic Plague. Are you saying is all she wants is to recognized as a woman?” said her father.

“Yup. It’s that simple. Next time you pass her in the street say something nice about her. Even if it’s a white lie the only person who will know is you. Next time you see her say she looks radiant or something. Say something nice to break the ice. It’s really that simple.”


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11041548_1132690643427165_7322152620158047212_n My inspiration for Sirena Telford.

             Cruella de Vil

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